Best Practices for New Employee Onboarding
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Before we get into some of the best practices for new employee onboarding, let’s discuss what employee onboarding actually is, and why it’s so important. Understanding these two things will have a positive impact on the company and its management.
New employee onboarding is a process of welcoming the employees into the company by introducing them to the team, company’s culture, attitudes, skills and behaviors which are required in order to function effectively within an organization.
Onboarding new employees is extremely important if you want to decrease your company’s turnover rate.
We’ve talked about it previously, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. In order to realize how this HR process is essential to your company’s success, you need to understand it.
Companies all over the world make the mistake of taking this process too lightly, and they end up losing a lot of money, time and valuable employees in the process. We live in a fast-paced world, and the job market is catching up to that incredible speed. New startups are created every day and they are searching for hardworking employees. On the other hand, big corporations are embracing the power of technology, and are seeking top talent.
Offering various benefits will definitely affect your turnover rate, however, it’s not the only thing that will impact your employee’s decision to say. A study conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management revealed that employers need to spend an equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement. This is a lot of money going to waste, and one of the reasons for it is definitely having a lousy onboarding process.
According to a business expert, Josh Bersin, a new employee can take up to two years in order to reach the level of productivity the existing staff has.
Onboarding will help you decrease the turnover rate, and keep some of the top talents in the company. On the other hand, it will give your new employees a sense of belonging. It will make them feel welcome, valuable and supported by the entire team. This will affect their productivity, as they will strive to fulfill the team’s expectations faster.
“We focus first on the people and how we incorporate them into our company, and then we focus on how to drive the business.” – John Chambers”
Needless to say, a quality onboarding process will take your company to a whole new level. You’ll have loyal employees who will spread the word about the company they’re in, and satisfied clients which will see that you treat your team members right.
If you’re ready to take your onboarding strategy to the next level, then you’ve come to the right place.
The key to an effective onboarding strategy is to plan in advance. Do not wait until your potential hire signs the contact, as by that point you should already have the entire onboarding process prepared. If you decide to do everything in the last minute and go as the wind blows, you’ll end up with a very bad onboarding process and a very dissatisfied employee.
Having a good onboarding process can be rather simple if you prioritize it. This goes hand in hand with what we’ve talked about above. Don’t do everything last minute, and end up with a mess instead of a quality onboarding process.
While creating the strategy, make sure to make the entire experience personalized. Every department has different goals, strategies, and expectations. Make sure the person knows what to expect before they step into the office.
And one of the most important things is to constantly review the onboarding process you have in your company and make it better. HR departments all over the world come up with various onboarding strategies every year, and the process is constantly evolving. You don’t want to stay stuck in the past, but be among the first ones to implement changes. For the better, of course.
By this point, you should be aware of what an onboarding process is, and how valuable it is for your organization. Now you’re ready to focus on it and implement it. Before you start, we’re sharing some interesting practices which have proven effective when it comes to new employee onboarding.
The first week is essential. And every week after that.
You cannot throw all the information on your new employees during the first day and then just forget about them. That’s just not how effective onboarding works. You have to dedicate time in order to get this right. It’s true what they say, that first impression is very important, however the weeks after that count as well. If you behave well on the first day, and you present the company as a glorious place to work it, and then on the next day you act like your hire isn’t even in the office, then you’re doing a terrible job at new employee onboarding. This will definitely increase your turnover rate, and you definitely do not want that to happen.
During the first week which is essential, create a checklist so you don’t forget anything and make sure the new employee is familiar with absolutely everything. What should a good onboarding checklist include? It all depends on the organization you’re working for, however, some that are the same for every company out there will be mentioned below.
- Set up your new employee’s mail
This is the first thing you should do when your new hire comes into the office. It’s clear they cannot do anything without it, so it’s essential you do this first. Let them know what their mail and password are, so they’ll know they’re all set.
- Send out a welcome mail
As soon as you’ve finished the first step, it’s time for the Welcome mail. It’s a mail from everyone in the company wishing their new team member a warm welcome into the team. Right from the start, your new employee will feel welcomed and supported, which is the most important thing.
- Work essentials.
Make sure your new employees have everything they need waiting for them on their desk. This includes their computer, charger, keyboard, mouse and everything else they’ll need in order to work efficiently.
This, of course, includes the “welcome box” full of your company’s branded material. This can include a personalized notebook, a pen, maybe a bar of chocolate or a cup with the company’s logo on it. New employees absolutely love these things.
- Let them know about the tools you’re using.
Most companies nowadays use various tools like Jira, Trello or Vacation Tracker. These are just a few, and companies often tend to use a lot more tools. That’s why it’s important to let your new hires know what tools you’re using, and give them a quick demo of how those tools work. Luckily, many of these tools have online tutorials, so you can send them a mail and attach those.
- Assign them a “buddy”
A mentor, or a “buddy” as some like to call the person in charge of mentoring the new employee. This person should talk to the new employees, introduce them to other team members and show them around.
The “buddy” you choose is very important, so make sure you do this part well.
Share with them what you’ll be doing in the future.
Coming into the office and not knowing what you’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks is a disaster. You feel lost, and confused. That’s why it’s important to have an activity calendar and share that with the new employee.
By having an activity calendar, they’ll know what the goals of the company are, when the team buildings will be held and when they’ll have their evaluations and feedbacks.
You should also include daily meetings and meetings with team members in the activity calendar, so the new employees will know how to organize their time.
Feedbacks and evaluations are very important.
Many companies think that monthly feedbacks and evaluations are not relevant, and often forget to implement them in their onboarding strategy. This is a huge mistake. By giving feedback to your new employees and asking them to evaluate the company and the project, they will feel valued, and respected.
People like to share ideas, and they want to know that someone is listening to what they have to say. Of course, you should always let them know that the doors to your office are always open if they have a suggestion. However, sometimes employees don’t want to come up to you because they do not want to bother you. That’s why having formal feedbacks and evaluations, which are scheduled in the activity calendar, are essential for the onboarding process.
Passing next to your team member and saying “Bravo” is simply not enough.
With these tips and tricks about new employee onboarding you’ll definitely save your company a lot of money, time and as we’ve said, valuable employees. You will build a strong company culture with loyal employees who will try their best each day in the office. In the end, this is what every employer wants. And the only way to get it is to put the employees first and show them that they really are a valuable part of the team. A quality onboarding process is only the beginning.